Translation Fellows

Each year, the Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellowship selects a group of emerging translators who are versed in Yiddish language and culture.

2018 Translation Fellows:


Jordan Brown is a language education specialist at the Yiddish Book Center, where he is working on writing a new textbook for first-year Yiddish language instruction. He will be translating the Tsenerene, Yankev ben Yitzkhok Ashkenazi of Yanov’s seminal sixteenth-century Yiddish adaptation of the central texts of Jewish liturgy, which Brown describes as “a vernacular bridge between text and context.”

Justin Cammy is an associate professor of Jewish studies and comparative literature at Smith College. A literary and cultural historian, his research interests include Yiddish literature, Eastern European Jewish history, Zionism, and contemporary Israel. He will be translating Avrom Sutzkever’s Fun vilner geto, “one of the earliest Yiddish memoirs to describe the destruction of European Jewry.”

Diana Clarke is a freelance writer and managing editor of In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. Clarke teaches at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh and in other capacities around the city, and will be translating poems by Polish Yiddish poet Rajzel Zychlinsky from the collections Tsu Loytere Bregn (To Clearer Shores) and Shvaygndike Tirn (Silent Walls).

Chloe Piazza is a PhD student in Jewish Studies in UC Berkeley’s Near Eastern Studies Department. Piazza will be translating Maria Lerner’s Di agune, “one of the first Yiddish plays written by a woman to be fully produced.”

Sarah Ponichtera works at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, where she manages YIVO’s Vilna Collections Project, a major library and archival digitization project taking place in both New York and Lithuania to digitize and digitally reunite YIVO’s pre-war archives. She was a 2015 Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow, and for her 2018 fellowship project, she will be translating a new archival discovery: a never-before published manuscript of a science fiction novel by Leyzer Volf.

David Schlitt is the director of the Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives at the Heinz History Center and is part-time faculty in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of German. He will be translating Shmuel Niger’s literary criticism. Schlitt describes Niger’s oeuvre thus: “If the Yiddish literary canon was secular Torah, Niger’s criticism was the Mishnah.”

Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is a poet, fiction writer, and translator. He is the author of six books of poetry, including most recently A moyz tsvishn vakldike volkn-kratsers: geklibene Yidishe lider (A Mouse Among Tottering Skyscrapers: Selected Yiddish Poems) (2017). His short stories have been published by several journals, and his Yiddish poems have been set to music. With Ellen Cassedy, he is the recipient of the 2012 Yiddish Book Center Translation Prize for Oedipus in Brooklyn and Other Stories by Blume Lempel (Mandel Vilar Press and Dryad Press, 2016). He will be translating three memoirs by Rachmil Bryks: Di vos zaynen nisht geblibln: dertseylungn (Those Who Didn’t Survive: Stories), Di antloyfers (The Fugitives), and Fun gsise tsum lebn: memuarn fun getos and katsetn (From Agony to Life: Memoirs of the Ghettos and Concentration Camps).

Ri J. Turner is an MA student in Yiddish at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is currently studying as a graduate exchange student in the Yiddish Immersion Program of the Medem Library in Paris, France. Turner was a 2014 Translation Fellow and is a recipient of the 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Literary Translation Fellowship. She will be translating a selection of humoresques by Joseph Tunkel, more commonly known as Der Tunkeler, “one of the most significant and prolific humorists of modern Yiddish literature.”

Cady Vishniac is an MFA student in fiction writing and is currently studying at the University of Michigan for her dissertation fellowship year. Beginning in fall 2018, she will be a PhD candidate in English and Jewish Studies at the University of Michigan. She is an alumna of Tent: Creative Writing, and her short fiction has been published and awarded prizes by several literary magazines and journals, including Glimmer Train, New England Review, Greensboro Review, and others. Cady will be translating short stories by Yente Serdatzky, who she characterizes as “a writer of what I believe would today be called progressive feminist short stories.”

Jason Wagner is a PhD candidate and graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan in the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. He will be translating a selection of the poetry of Moyshe Kulbak, who was a poet as well as a novelist. Wagner will focus on Kulbak’s long poems: “Raysn,” “Lamed Vov,” “Vilne,” and “Shtot.”

"What can I say? I felt encouraged, spurred on, supported and part of a community of wonderful, brilliant people."
A former translation fellow